Where Is He?
I station Beckett like Gotama, mid-table,
and spread before him
the Sunday comics. I’ve pored over
the Brueghelian welter:
each interstice of time, its tenants
and their possessions since Genesis,
secreted in a cartoon panel,
of exponential zeal and futility,
the size of a handkerchief.
The inventory of eternity,
shape-shifting, yet captured,
in pixilated frenzy.
Waldo’s somewhere in there,
gaunt, anonymous, camouflaged—
red and white striped jersey, spectacles,
bangs spilling from the stocking cap.
Every week he loses himself. One of us,
we must pluck him from this tangle.
The stakes are that high. I can never find him—
after hours and a magnifying glass.
Only Beckett—who can barely talk,
hasn’t walked yet—with the simple prompt:
Where’s Waldo? And, like a medium,
legs lotused, he gazes trance-like
into the newsprint, for mere seconds,
drops his finger, like a Ouija stylus,
into the roil and whispers, Waldo.